Pakistan again denies 2016 surgical strike, calls it ‘figment of Indian imagination’

Pakistan again denies 2016 surgical strike, calls it ‘figment of Indian imagination’
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Islamabad, Jan 3: Pakistan on Thursday again rejected the 2016 surgical strike as a “figment of Indian imagination”, saying there was no such ‘event’.
The Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on militant launch pads across the Line of Control on September 29, 2016, but Pakistan denied any such attacks.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said this at his weekly briefing when asked about the assertions made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the surgical strikes in an interview on the New Year.
“There was no such event. It is a figment of Indian imagination. The Indian media is itself doubting the claims of their government,” he said.
In an interview on Tuesday, Modi asserted that it would be a “big mistake” to think that Pakistan will mend its ways after just “one war”, referring to the 2016 surgical strike.
A surgical strike is a military attack aimed to harm only the intended target and ensure minimal collateral damage to general public infrastructure and utilities around it.
“Pakistan will never improve on the basis of one war. That nation will still take some time to improve. But, can we hear anything in the midst of bombs? Today, terror supporting Pakistan is isolated,” Modi quoted as saying in tweets by the PMO.
He also said all PMs of India, across all parties never opposed dialogue with Pakistan.
On a dialogue between India and Pakistan, Faisal said that Islamabad wanted a dialogue with India but New Delhi was shying away.
“If India shies away from dialogue, we cannot do much. It takes two to tango. Our position on the matter is clear,” he said, adding that a letter by Prime Minister Imran Khan, written to his Indian counterpart on September 14, clearly laid down Pakistan’s policy.
India has also made it clear to Islamabad that talks and terror cannot go together.
“Obviously we would like to discuss the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, first and foremost, in addition to all other matters. We, unlike India do not shy away from having a dialogue for resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries,” he said.
Faisal also said that Pakistan’s desire for peace must not be misconstrued as its “weakness”.
Terming India-Pakistan relations as a “difficult and complicated one”, he said, “We are slowly moving forward.”
Condemning the alleged violation of the Line of Control by Indian drones, he said Pakistan was vigilant and responded effectively to these threats.
“Any misadventure by India would be responded in a befitting manner,” he said.
Asked about the reports claiming 23 Indian passports were misplaced by the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi, he said “the matter has been looked into. There is no evidence that the alleged missing 23 passports were received by the Mission. As such, reports in this regard are baseless and speculative.”
To a question on abduction of a retired Pakistan Army Colonel from Nepal, he said Pakistan was pursuing the matter.